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The Exercise is Medicine® Credential

In 2007, ACSM's Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) campaign was initiated to promote exercise as a health strategy for the general public and to promote a collaboration between health care providers and exercise professionals. The EIM initiative now includes a credential program that will provide exercise professionals with the opportunity to work closely with the medical community and provide numerous additional benefits to the certified professional.

Why ACSM?

Professional sports medicine certification began with us.

Founded in 1954, the American College of Sports Medicine was the first organization to certify health fitness professionals. As a leader in the industry, ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all other certifications use for training and certification, and therefore, we continue to set what we like to call "the Gold Standard."

As a non-profit institution, we are driven by our commitment to education and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Our certifications are the backbone of organization, and we want to provide you with the tools and support needed to make sure you have a successful career in health and fitness.

What Training Materials are Available to Help Me Prepare?

A web-based course is now available at the ACSM ceOnline Website!

Exercise Is Medicine Professional Credential Workshop

Below are the handouts from the Exercise is Medicine training course from the 2012 Summit: 

Register for your exam!

To purchase your $50 USD EIM Credential exam voucher, send a copy of your Credential Workshop Certificate of Completion to certification@acsm.org or fax to 317-634-7817 and include your credit card payment information. Further details will follow once Certificate of Completion and payment are received. 

What are the benefits of the EIM® Credential?

  • A respected credential to work with individuals who are healthy, individuals with health-related conditions who have been cleared by their physicians for exercise (Level 1 or 2), and for patients who require clinical support and monitoring (Level 3)
  • Provides health care providers with a system to validate the qualifications of exercise professionals who are eligible to work with their patients
  • An opportunity for fitness professionals to market to health care providers and to develop or cultivate patient referrals on a regular basis

The system developed by the American College of Sports Medicine to credential exercise professionals for EIM designation considered three components:

  • Professional preparation necessary to safely and effectively prescribe exercise to a patient population
  • Development of the skills needed to work within the health care system
  • Development of the skills needed to support sustained behavior change

Who is Qualified for the EIM® Credential?

The Exercise is Medicine Credential contains three (3) levels, designed to serve clients and patients depending upon their health status.The eligibility requirements for the three credential levels vary, based on the following:

  • Your current fitness professional certification must be an NCCA-accredited certification:
    • Academy of Applied Personal Training (AAPTE)
    • ACTION Certification (ACTION)
    • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
    • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
    • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
    • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)
    • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
    • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)
    • National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA)
    • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
    • The Cooper Institute (CI)
  • The level of your current NCCA accredited certification, and your education level, determines the EIM credential level you can obtain. Those with bachelor's or master's degrees in Exercise Science qualify for higher level credentials. See More

Level 1

  • Patient Population: Individuals at low or moderate risk who have been cleared for independent exercise.
  • Credential Requirements:
    • NCCA accredited fitness professional certification
    • Successful completion of the EIM credential training course and EIM credential examination
    • EIM course and examination exempt for NCCA-accredited fitness certification and approved BS/BA in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology

Level 2

  • Patient Population: Individuals at low, moderate, or high risk who have been cleared for independent exercise.
  • Credential Requirements
    • Approved BS/BA in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology 
    • NCCA accredited fitness professional certification
    • Successful completion of the EIM credential training course and EIM credential examination
    • EIM course and examination exempt for certifications with an emphasis on special populations (ACSM-HFS, ACSM-CES, ACSM-RCEP, ACE Advanced Heath Fitness Specialist).

Level 3

  • Patient Population: Individuals at low, moderate, or high risk including those requiring clinical monitoring
  • Credential Requirements:
    • Approved MS/MA Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology OR approved BS/BA in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology/Kinesiology plus 4,000 hours of experience in a clinical exercise setting.
    • NCCA accredited clinical exercise certification
    • EIM credential course and EIM credential examination exempt for those with ACSM-CES or ACSM-RCEP.

Regardless of the patient level that the exercise professional is working with, each credential level requires exercise professionals to be certified by a National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accrediting organization. A formal education (B.S. or M.S. degree in exercise science) provides the exercise professional additional opportunities to work with patients who are at higher risk.

 

What are the Costs Associated with the EIM Credential?

  • The application cost for those who are exempt from the EIM training course and exam is $25.
  • The EIM Professional Credential Workshop is $100.
  • The EIM Professional Credential exam voucher is $50.  

What is Required to Maintain Exercise is Medicine Credential?

In order to maintain your Exercise is Medicine Credential, you will be required to maintain a current NCCA accredited certification that is consistent with the level of your credential. We suggest that at least a portion of your continuing education be committed to special populations, working within healthcare and supporting sustainable behavior change.

 

How Do I Apply for the Credential if I am Exempt from the EIM Course and Exam?

Those who are exempt from the EIM course and exam must complete this application and submit with payment.

**Be sure to include your degree name and college or university attended.**
 
**You may be required to submit transcripts and certificates from other certification organizations to ensure all exemption requirements are met.**

 

How Do I Know if I am Exempt from the EIM Course and Exam?

To be exempt at Level 1, you must answer YES to both of the following:

  1. I have a bachelor's degree or higher in Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology, or Kinesiology.
  2. I have a current NCCA accredited fitness certification. 

To be exempt at Level 2, you must answer YES to both of the following:

  1. I have a bachelor's degree or higher in Exercise Science, Exercise Physiology, or Kinesiology.
  2. I have a current NCCA accredited certification with an emphasis on special populations (ACSM-HFS, ACSM-CES, ACSM RCEP, ACE Health Fitness Specialist)

To be exempt at Level 3, you must answer YES to both of the following:

  1. I have a master's degree in Exercise Science OR I have a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science with 4,000 hours of experience in a clinical exercise setting.
  2. I have a current ACSM-CES or ACSM-RCEP certification.
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